Donate Bitcoin

Donate Paypal


PeakOil is You

PeakOil is You

How Socialism Works: Part Two — Rich and Poor People

A forum for discussion of regional topics including oil depletion but also government, society, and the future.

How Socialism Works: Part Two — Rich and Poor People

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 13 Jul 2019, 01:31:35

How Socialism Works: Part Two — A Primer for Economic Idealists and Others Who Just Seek Goodness
The rich keep getting richer. Socialist tax policies only make things worse for the little guy.
By Dov Fischer

When you give someone welfare handouts and food stamps, you help him or her until the cash soon runs out. But when you create conditions that enable such people to obtain employment and to work gainfully, you help them and their future generations for life, even as you imbue them with dignity. People who live off public assistance know in their hearts and souls that they are not keeping up their end of the social bargain. As long as they have any dignity, they are burdened with shame. They are told not to be ashamed: “These are ‘entitlements’! You are entitled!” But people with self-respect know better. People who work and who pay income taxes, however modest those income taxes be, take pride in knowing that they are part of society’s solutions, not its problems.

To be sure, some people lack those abilities because of physical or psychological impairments that leave them unable to contribute, and conservatives commit to to their assistance. “For the poor shall never cease out of the land; therefore I command thee, saying, ‘Thou shalt surely open thy hand unto thy poor and needy brother, in thy land,’” says Deuteronomy 15:11. Indeed, it is part of the personal responsibility that a conservative bears to assist those truly unable to help themselves.

On its face, socialism sounds so fair: To each according to his or her need — and why not? Equality of results. Equality of incomes. No homelessness. Medicare for all. Let us briefly look more closely.

Guaranteed Equal Income and Taxing “The Rich” at 70 Percent

When people who perform services and tasks are guaranteed a certain income level, with certainty that they will not be fired or reduced in pay, they devote less intensity to their work because they know they will not face consequences for mediocrity. If this phenomenon is problematic at the supermarket checkout counter, it is dire when it reaches air-traffic controllers, commercial-vehicle drivers, and even school teachers entrusted with training the minds of the young.

Capitalism and free enterprise motivate people to aspire, knowing that they must work harder and produce more effectively and efficiently to rise and be rewarded. It has been this effort to rise beyond one’s social and economic standing that has accounted for so much of the unique life advances that have come from American industry and entrepreneurship. Others — China, Japan, India — may steal American intellectual property and reproduce the products more cheaply, but the creative breakthroughs have come from America, driven by free-market capitalism. It is no coincidence that smartphones and the internet are associated with American names like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos. In return, they became billionaires. Likewise, most of the world’s most remarkable medical drugs have come from American research and development. Americans are not genetically superior to others. Rather, the American free-market capitalist system that rewards endeavor, risk, independent thinking, and hard work accounts for the difference. If you ever have tried to win an award, to make a sports team, or to get a treat from a parent, you personally have experienced how you did better when you were not otherwise guaranteed a result.

You have a moral quandary: In a world of homeless people and starvation in Venezuela, how can it be right that some Americans are so greedy that they never stop pursuing wealth, even after reaching a billion dollars? I agree with you that they do not need it. But that is what drives them, just as other people are driven to attain certain other goals that make no sense to me, like competing in Olympic curling. I am a rabbi. What drives me is to learn and teach Torah. I also love to express myself in writing, so I write. Musicians — whether country artists or those in hip-hop or other genres — are driven to perform their craft. One person loves the cello, the next the viola. Some love to do woodwork or to work under their cars’ hoods. In the same way, many people are driven by the passion to “make money.” That is not my passion, and maybe it is not your passion, but it is their passion — just to keep making more money. Many of America’s main leftists — Bezos, Steyer, and Zuckerberg — are driven by the unquenchable thirst for more money. They live to make money.

Most of us do not live in their world and do not understand their single-minded materialist focus, but a good place for insight is the TV show Shark Tank. There you have Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary (“Mr. Wonderful”), Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, and Daymond John. These people are incalculably wealthy. But they live to make more money, so they invest in others’ ideas. They find the monetary risks they face no less exciting than do others who enjoy bungee-jumping, and they enjoy the intellectual challenge of evaluating an idea’s marketability just as scientists are intrigued by other intellectual challenges. Less-established Americans who harbor creative new ideas come to them and say, “This food or appliance or clothing or leisure activity will make all our lives better, but I don’t have the money to make my idea succeed. I need your money.” The investors listen and, motivated primarily by personal greed, decide whether to commit hundreds of thousands of their own dollars to one idea, then another. The investors never seem to run out of money for investing because they already are “too rich.” They already have accumulated so much money that they can invest endless millions in endless new ideas. The result: every time they put up more money to make even more money … all our lives improve. By contrast, if we were to tax their private “excessive” wealth at confiscatory rates, where would seed money come from for great new ideas and products?

From the government.

When the government invests in ideas, sometimes society hits a winner, but all too often government becomes surrounded by lobbyists and interest groups motivated by the politics of the idea rather than by its underlying market wisdom. Thus, under Obama, government gave more than $500 million to Solyndra for a climate-change proposal that advanced a political agenda. Half a billion dollars were lost. In California, the government undertook to build a high-speed rail line that made no sense but that was politically chic. In 2008, voters were told that the project would cost $40 billion. Four years later, the projection was raised to $68.4 billion. It now is priced at $77 billion, with expectations that the numbers will exceed $100 billion. There is more: Initially, a one-way ticket from Los Angeles to San Francisco was going to cost $55 per ticket. Now the estimate is $86 per ticket. It was estimated that the project would be completed by 2023. Now the expected completion date is 2033. The estimated number of expected passengers per year has dropped 67 percent. As a result, California now is moving towards ditching most of the project. Billions have been lost, and there is no high-speed rail to show for it.

Private billionaires, because they are driven not by politics but by their own greed to make more money and by their own caution not to lose money wastefully, direct investment capital to worthy projects that have high probabilities of succeeding. Thus free-market capitalism not only fuels the economy but also makes our lives better. If the government starts taxing private wealth at confiscatory levels, all of economic history teaches that the raised tax levels will not cause billions suddenly to pour in and pay for free services for everyone else.

Instead, here is what will happen:

“The Rich” will retain the expert services of brilliant tax attorneys and accountants who will study the new laws and brilliantly will devise loopholes and exotic strategies by which to minimize or bypass new tax bites. As an example, General Electric made a $14.2 billion profit in 2010 and reportedly paid no taxes. The Alternative Minimum Tax (“AMT”) was created after it was learned that 155 of the country’s wealthiest families had paid no taxes; in the end, “The Rich” continued legally to dodge taxpaying while the AMT ended up ravaging the middle class. In similar fashion, Amazon paid no taxes in 2017 on profits of $11.2 billion. “The Rich” and their tax advisors enjoy endless strategies that the non-rich cannot fathom. They can move money out of the country to lower-tax havens. They can defer profits to later years or can recharacterize assets. They also buy politicians legally by contributing to their election campaigns; in return, their lobbyists help draft tax legislation. Thus, even while it seems that new laws are tightening tax loopholes, “The Rich” will not pay more because their lobbyists’ hidden loopholes assure safe havens. Warren Buffett endorsed Obama in 2008, saying it was unfair that Buffett’s secretary pays higher taxes than he does. But by 2019, after the Wasted Obama Decade, Buffett still was saying that he pays less in taxes than his secretary. It never changes, and it is not unique to either party. Wall Street capitalists hedge their bets, as do Silicon Valley billionaires, by contributing heavily to Democrats. Thus, Bernie Sanders and his wife are millionaires who own three houses, and Sanders jets around the country in private planes. Elizabeth Warren has solicited billionaires like Starbucks’ Howard Schultz for donations, and she has been able to get hundreds of thousands of dollars from individuals in securities and investment firms that specialize in protecting their customers’ wealth from higher taxes. Hillary Clinton was paid hundreds of thousands by Wall Street firms for secret fifteen-minute meetings behind closed doors that were characterized as “speeches” and “honoraria” but that really were payoffs to assure access to maximize their profits if she had won.

Any effort to reduce wealth of “The Rich” simply drives their assets into other vehicles and off-shore tax havens. Likewise, data reflect that even middle-class Americans flee high-tax states like Illinois, California (despite its great weather), and New York (despite its cultural offerings) for low-tax and no-tax states like Texas, Arizona, and Florida. If the middle class cannot get ahead because taxation policy keeps them locked at a level similar to lower classes, then middle-class people will work less hard and fewer hours, be less creative, strive less, and abandon that unique American spirit of entrepreneurship that has benefited the world so greatly under capitalism. That is how people are, and that is how you are and will be. You will want the best for your significant other, for your kids, and even for yourself.

That is why socialism never works. Why the more that California spends on social services, the greater the demand for even more such services, even as Hollywood flees to Georgia to make movies about California. The science is settled, from Russia to China to North Korea to Venezuela. It never works.


Original is at: https://spectator.org/how-socialism-works-part-two-a-primer-for-economic-idealists-and-others-who-just-seek-goodness/
KaiserJeep 2.0, Neural Subnode 0010 0000 0001 0110 - 1001 0011 0011, Tertiary Adjunct to Unimatrix 0000 0000 0001

Resistance is Futile, YOU will be Assimilated.

Warning: Messages timestamped before April 1, 2016, 06:00 PST were posted by the unmodified human KaiserJeep 1.0
KaiserJeep
Light Sweet Crude
Light Sweet Crude
 
Posts: 6094
Joined: Tue 06 Aug 2013, 16:16:32
Location: Wisconsin's Dreamland

Re: How Socialism Works: Part Two — Rich and Poor People

Unread postby lpetrich » Mon 15 Jul 2019, 17:22:27

Define "socialism".

George Soros has several billion dollars of assets, the result of a business that he built from scratch. Does that make him a saint?
User avatar
lpetrich
Lignite
Lignite
 
Posts: 361
Joined: Thu 22 Jun 2006, 02:00:00

Re: How Socialism Works: Part Two — Rich and Poor People

Unread postby Plantagenet » Tue 16 Jul 2019, 19:51:25

George Orwell did a very nice job of demonstrating how socialism destroys freedom and wealth in his famous novels "Animal Farm" and "1984."

Image

Image

Image

Cheers!
User avatar
Plantagenet
Expert
Expert
 
Posts: 22777
Joined: Mon 09 Apr 2007, 02:00:00
Location: Alaska (its much bigger than Texas).

Re: How Socialism Works: Part Two — Rich and Poor People

Unread postby lpetrich » Tue 16 Jul 2019, 21:47:43

Plantagenet wrote:George Orwell did a very nice job of demonstrating how socialism destroys freedom and wealth in his famous novels "Animal Farm" and "1984."

Define "socialism".

Cartoons:

From Animal Farm, Boxer the Horse pulling a box and saying "I will work harder. Napoleon is always right." -- thus being the ideal employee.

Obama -- Big Brother is watching you. No evidence that Obama was much worse than other presidents there.

From Animal Farm: All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.

George Orwell's Animal Farm was inspired by the history of the Soviet Union up to WWII, and 1984 by Stalinism. Big Brother looks like Stalin and Emmanuel Goldstein looks like Leon Trotsky.
User avatar
lpetrich
Lignite
Lignite
 
Posts: 361
Joined: Thu 22 Jun 2006, 02:00:00

Re: How Socialism Works: Part Two — Rich and Poor People

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Tue 16 Jul 2019, 23:48:23

lpetrich wrote:Define "socialism".

You do know you're on the internet, right? You do know Google and other search engines are a "thing", right? So look it up.

Or if you're just playing some stupid baiting game, go ahead and tell us what you think it means, if you don't agree with the standard definition.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
User avatar
Outcast_Searcher
COB
COB
 
Posts: 7234
Joined: Sat 27 Jun 2009, 20:26:42

Re: How Socialism Works: Part Two — Rich and Poor People

Unread postby lpetrich » Wed 17 Jul 2019, 16:53:23

Outcast_Searcher wrote:
lpetrich wrote:Define "socialism".

You do know you're on the internet, right? You do know Google and other search engines are a "thing", right? So look it up.

Search engines won't tell us what someone means by "socialism". Only they themselves can do so.
User avatar
lpetrich
Lignite
Lignite
 
Posts: 361
Joined: Thu 22 Jun 2006, 02:00:00

Re: How Socialism Works: Part Two — Rich and Poor People

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Thu 18 Jul 2019, 13:14:25

lpetrich wrote:
Outcast_Searcher wrote:
lpetrich wrote:Define "socialism".

You do know you're on the internet, right? You do know Google and other search engines are a "thing", right? So look it up.

Search engines won't tell us what someone means by "socialism". Only they themselves can do so.

As Ayn Rand said, words have an exact meaning. (Atlas Shrugged, discussion about making money between Dagny and Jim Taggert).

Just making things up isn't a credible way to argue. How about we use actual, defined/documented, credible definitions re credible sources?
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
User avatar
Outcast_Searcher
COB
COB
 
Posts: 7234
Joined: Sat 27 Jun 2009, 20:26:42

Re: How Socialism Works: Part Two — Rich and Poor People

Unread postby asg70 » Thu 18 Jul 2019, 16:27:43

Peak oil doom is way of for this to be what posters are most concerned about.

HALL OF SHAME:
-Short welched on a bet and should be shunned.
-Frequent-flyers should not cry crocodile-tears over climate-change.
asg70
Intermediate Crude
Intermediate Crude
 
Posts: 2885
Joined: Sun 05 Feb 2017, 13:17:28

Re: How Socialism Works: Part Two — Rich and Poor People

Unread postby radon1 » Sat 20 Jul 2019, 03:16:33

lpetrich wrote:Search engines won't tell us what someone means by "socialism". Only they themselves can do so.


That's a good point.

This is the definition from the wikipedia:

Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership of the means of production and workers' self-management,[10] as well as the political theories and movements associated with them.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism

The OP's article does not seem to have anything to do with "social ownership", and instead discusses level of taxation and social spending. The next step, typically, is to talk about China/North Korea etc because they allegedly have/have had socialism, and to draw obvious parallels. Can you tell me about a single country in the world which has ever been "characterised by social ownership of the means of production and worker's self-management"? Certainly not China, North Korea, or Soviet Union.

This is like Putin recently saying that liberalism is dead because of "transformers" in the west.
radon1
Intermediate Crude
Intermediate Crude
 
Posts: 2046
Joined: Thu 27 Jun 2013, 05:09:44

Re: How Socialism Works: Part Two — Rich and Poor People

Unread postby Cog » Sat 20 Jul 2019, 06:14:29

State owned factories would qualify as socialism in my book. North Korea and the old Soviet Union certainly operated that way. Or corporations so regulated and managed by the state that they are defacto controlled by the state. Warren, for instance, wants to mandate that all public corporations must, by law, have 20% of its board of directors be employees of the corporation.

The end state of our current batch of socialists running for office is to so regulate corporations to achieve desired results, that those corporations for all intents serve the state's interests and not the shareholder's interests. I suppose the word fascism works just as well to describe them. As socialism and fascism go hand in hand with the left.
User avatar
Cog
Fusion
Fusion
 
Posts: 12778
Joined: Sat 17 May 2008, 02:00:00
Location: Northern Kekistan

Re: How Socialism Works: Part Two — Rich and Poor People

Unread postby radon1 » Sat 20 Jul 2019, 11:05:12

Cog wrote:State owned factories would qualify as socialism in my book. North Korea and the old Soviet Union certainly operated that way.


State owned in North Korea is essentially Kim-owned. This is hardly "socially owned". Not much difference with other countries in the list.
radon1
Intermediate Crude
Intermediate Crude
 
Posts: 2046
Joined: Thu 27 Jun 2013, 05:09:44

Re: How Socialism Works: Part Two — Rich and Poor People

Unread postby yellowcanoe » Sat 20 Jul 2019, 11:58:00

Cog wrote:State owned factories would qualify as socialism in my book.


Well I guess that makes the US a socialist country as the Joint Systems Manufacturing Plant (previously known as the Lima Tank Plant) is owned by the Federal Government. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lima_Army_Tank_Plant
yellowcanoe
Tar Sands
Tar Sands
 
Posts: 580
Joined: Fri 15 Nov 2013, 13:42:27
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: How Socialism Works: Part Two — Rich and Poor People

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Mon 29 Jul 2019, 15:51:28

yellowcanoe wrote:
Cog wrote:State owned factories would qualify as socialism in my book.


Well I guess that makes the US a socialist country as the Joint Systems Manufacturing Plant (previously known as the Lima Tank Plant) is owned by the Federal Government. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lima_Army_Tank_Plant

The economy has been a mixed one for many decades.

Claiming the country is X because of one example is beyond silly.

Now, whether we're better off with the government being bigger, that is a legit and ongoing argument. To me, the evidence is mixed.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
User avatar
Outcast_Searcher
COB
COB
 
Posts: 7234
Joined: Sat 27 Jun 2009, 20:26:42

Re: How Socialism Works: Part Two — Rich and Poor People

Unread postby yellowcanoe » Mon 29 Jul 2019, 21:12:07

Outcast_Searcher wrote:
yellowcanoe wrote:
Cog wrote:State owned factories would qualify as socialism in my book.


Well I guess that makes the US a socialist country as the Joint Systems Manufacturing Plant (previously known as the Lima Tank Plant) is owned by the Federal Government. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lima_Army_Tank_Plant

The economy has been a mixed one for many decades.

Claiming the country is X because of one example is beyond silly.


Well I was responding to Cog who generally views everything as being either black or white. There are plenty of other examples of socialist type services in the US. I do find that the definition of socialism in the US seems to be more aligned with what would be called communism elsewhere.
yellowcanoe
Tar Sands
Tar Sands
 
Posts: 580
Joined: Fri 15 Nov 2013, 13:42:27
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: How Socialism Works: Part Two — Rich and Poor People

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Wed 31 Jul 2019, 12:43:45

yellowcanoe wrote:Well I was responding to Cog who generally views everything as being either black or white.

Fair enough, and I recognized the sarcasm -- just making a point.

To be fair to Cog, who is quite astute on many issues such as the economy, IMO, he only gets that way on certain topics which are very important to him. Things like guns and politics, from my observations.

And many are of us get like that over certain topics. Property rights is a sensitive topic for me, for example.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
User avatar
Outcast_Searcher
COB
COB
 
Posts: 7234
Joined: Sat 27 Jun 2009, 20:26:42


Return to North America Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests